Exhibition Road Tunnel Project
Stream 4 :
Mi Ree Kwon, Giulia Silvoy, Zara Ashby, Tiphaine Dugast,
Leandro Martinez-pesce, Emma Alisa Aaltonen, Lucy Benson.
South Kensington Station is one of the most visited stations on the underground network. It provides the primary gateway to the world-class cultural and educational institutions along Exhibition Road that form the globally renowned cultural quarter. Leading from the station is the Exhibition Road Pedestrian Tunnel, a key public space that provides covered access to the threshold of many of these institutions.
Today the reality of the experience of arriving at South Kensington Station and journeying through the tunnel is disappointing. It is not befitting of the cultural institutions they serve or the extensive public realm improve- ments made at street level along Exhibition Road or indeed the historical significance of South Kensington Station. The station’s infrastructure is outdated, with poor accessibility from platform to street level. The ticket hall is overcrowded, with a lack of coordinated way-finding. The route to the pedestrian tunnel lacks visibility, is poorly signed and contains unfortunate level changes. All this is a particular problem in South Kensington where so many visitors are families with small children. Once inside the tunnel there is a lack of connection with what is happening at ground level, exacerbated by limited interpretation and inadequate way-finding.
Transport for London (TfL) recognise the seriousness of these issues. To this end TfL plan to make significant improvements to South Kensington Station itself to improve this ‘sense of arrival’. However, they recognise that although updating the pedestrian tunnel is vital to these improvements, it is a wider and more complex issue. With the endorsement of TfL the Exhibition Road Cultural Group (ERCG), who represent all the cultural and educational institutions in the area, are undertaking an ideas competition focused on and within the pe- destrian tunnel and the threshold from the tunnel into the South Kensington London Underground Station. The competition, which is funded by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, aims to encourage a multi-disciplinary approach, led by the Royal College Art working in collaboration with students from Imperial College and the Royal College of Music.
2.National History Museum
3. V&A Museum
4. Science Museum
EXHIBITION ROAD TUNNEL
NATIONAL HISTORY MUSEUM
V&A, SCIENCE MUSEUM